We all need to manage emails. Some of us receive hundreds or thousands of them in multiple different accounts every day. Depending on the volume of messages you need to process, this can be a tedious task. Hence, a good email application and a few tips&tricks to save time can significantly increase your efficiency.
With the Windows 8 Mail app, Microsoft introduced an application that actually makes managing emails very easy and convenient. The interface is visually pleasing, simplistic, intuitive, and yet the app is surprisingly comprehensive. When was the last time you heard so many good things about a Microsoft product?
For those of you using Windows 8 and looking for an application to manage multiple email accounts, give the native Mail app a try and consider the following tips&tricks to save time wile managing your emails.
Manage All Your Email Accounts With Windows 8 Mail
Managing multiple accounts from one app saves time because you have everything in one central location. Switching between email accounts in Windows 8 Mail is very convenient and more pleasant than jumping back and forth between browser tabs. Note that the Mail app not only supports Microsoft email accounts, such as Hotmail or Outlook, you can also add any account that supports IMAP, such as Yahoo, Google, and many others.
To add accounts, go to the Mail app, bring up the Charms bar on the right, go to Settings, open Accounts, and Add an account. Select the account and proceed with setting it up. Repeat these steps for any additional accounts.
If you run into any issues with the Windows 8 Mail app, be sure to refer to my Windows 8 Mail app troubleshooting article that addresses some common issues.
Pin Individual Mailboxes To Start Screen
When you have added several email accounts to the Windows 8 Mail app, it makes sense to individually pin them to the start screen. Each tile will show the number of read emails for the respective account. A large tile will also display sender, subject, and an excerpt of unread emails. The advantage of having separate tiles for each account is that you can go straight to each mailbox from the start screen.
To pin a mailbox to your start screen, open the Mail app and look for the list of your email accounts in the bottom left. Select the account you want to add to the start screen, right-click or press & hold to bring up the menu, and pick Pin to Start.
Repeat the above steps for your other accounts until all of them appear on the start screen.
You can also enable notifications to receive an additional cue about incoming emails, which is a popup in the top right of the start screen along with a sound. These notifications must be enabled for each account separately. Go to the Mail app, open the Charms bar, go to Accounts, open settings for one of the accounts, scroll all the way down and set the option Show email notifications for this account to On.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts In Mail App
- [CTRL] + N to compose a new email
- [CTRL] + R to respond to an email
- [CTRL] + D to trash an email
If you want to work entirely with keyboard commands, the [TAB] key, as well as the [UP] and [DOWN] arrow keys combined with [ENTER] will be your friend when switching between accounts, folders, emails, and options.
Check out our Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts cheat sheet for more handy time savers.
Writing Emails Faster
As you are composing an email, you might want to save the draft, add an attachment, or format the text. You can quickly bring up the Options bar at the bottom of the screen by clicking the [Menu] key — that’s the often neglected key between [ALT GR] and [CTRL] on the right-hand side of your keyboard. The Options bar also comes up when you highlight text. Use the [TAB] key to switch between items.
When you need to write a lot with a touch-only device, consider connecting it to an external keyboard to bring your writing back up to speed. You may also want to literally improve your touch-typing skills or — in the more traditional sense — learn how to type with 10 fingers.
For me the Windows 8 Mail app — once set up — was a surprisingly smooth experience. The interface removes clutter and lets you focus on what matters — communicating. By adopting a few keyboard shortcuts, you can breeze through your emails without ever taking your hands off the keyboard.
What is your experience with the Mail app and do you have any other time saving tips for managing emails?